The Los Angeles Police Department is urging fans of Kobe Bryant to stay away from his memorial on Monday unless they have a ticket. Authorities are expecting the event to have a massive turnout, but they hope the area will not be inundated with countless people arriving uncounted. Instead, they ask fans to pay their respects from home.
The L.A. Police Chief, Michel Moore made a public statement about Bryant's memorial on Friday. The event will be held at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, California, where Bryant played with the L.A. Lakers for 20 years. About 20,000 tickets have been sold for a public memorial to Bryant, scheduled for 10 a.m. PT on Monday morning.
According to Moore, police have decided to close off the surrounding area that morning in an attempt to prevent excessive gatherings. Those without tickets will not be allowed near the neighborhood, including L.A. Live.
"This entire area will be barricaded off. As a matter of respect ... honor the family wishes and allow this event to go as smoothly as possible," Moore told The L.A. Times.
The newspaper published a map showing how far the barricades will stretch. Figueroa Street will be blocked off from Pico Boulevard to Olympic Boulevard. To get past, fans will have to provide both a paid ticket to the memorial and a matching I.D. Moore warned that trying to breach these barriers will result in arrest.
However, Moore said the police are not overly concerned about big disruptions at the event. He told reporters that these barriers are a precaution, and that they did not expect mourners to make a scene at Bryant's memorial.
"That isn't the Los Angeles I know," he said.
Staples Center president Lee Zeidman added that, even if they were to get past the police, fans would have little to see without a ticket. He said that the massive outdoor video screens outside of the L.A. Live complex will be turned off.
"There will be nothing to see here," he said.
Of course, fans will still be able to watch the memorial from home. It will be broadcast on some TV stations and on livestreamed as well. Those at work can tune in later to catch the video.
Tickets to the memorial ranged in price from $24.02 to $224, depending on the seats. They were sold in a ticket lottery with more than 80,000 applicants. Proceeds from the sales will go directly to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports foundation, made in honor of Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna.